Interesting article on Scientific American: Can We Be Trained to Like Healthy Foods?
Scientists and physicians wonder if our lust for unhealthy, obesity-inducing eating might be tied to the food choices made during our first weeks and months of life.
“‘Our hypothesis is that flavors associated with various vegetables, could be influenced by early exposure,'”
In a 2009 study they gave hydrolyzed casein formula to four- to nine- month-old infants.
“To you and me, [it] tastes absolutely awful.”
The team discovered that if babies had consumed hydrolyzed casein early in life, their perceptions of flavor changed. Early exposure to the predigested formula caused babies to eat more savory, bitter, sour or plain cereal than infants who were brought up on breast milk or regular milk-based formula.
In essence, what Beauchamp uncovered may be the infant equivalent of the phenomenon of adults developing a taste for bitter coffee or beer in part because they’re drawn to the underlying caffeine or alcohol buzz.